Almost 2 years ago, on August 27th 2010 Chinched Bistro opened its doors for the first time. Since then we have been on the most incredible journey, 2 years is a long time but we wouldn’t trade the fun and experiences we’ve had over that time for the world.
It’s been a very unique experience opening and running a restaurant in the heart of downtown St. John’s. Not in anyone’s wildest dreams did we think that two years late we would be where we are, with a successful restaurant and a large group of loyal guests. Seeing the smiles on everyone’s face as they walk out the door ‘Chinched’ is what makes everything worthwhile.
It’s fun to look at the evolution of our menu over the past two years and to recognize how far we’ve come and how much we’ve been able to learn. Perhaps the most astounding evolution is that of our house cured Charcuterie.
From the beginning we have always cured, smoked, pickled, and prepared all of our Charcuterie from scratch in house. It started as something Chef Hussey loved to do and it began as a plate with a single Charcuterie item on our appetizer menu. Today we serve a Charcuterie platter hand crafted by Chef Hussey and Sous Chef May with various meats, sausages, terrines and pate’s. There is always a variety of items in the works with the majority of the cured items taking upwards of 4-6 months to prepare. What is so astounding about our journey is that currently Charcuterie is the single highest selling item on our menu. No one is happier than Chef Hussey who has been able to turn a hobby into what is now recognized as some of the best Charcuterie available in St. John’s!
Since its inception Chinched has always strived to be as involved in the community as possible. Each summer we hire a culinary student as an intern, last summer with Elizabeth Lee and this summer with Emily Hancock. These girls have been invaluable additions to our team and hats off to the instructors who released them into the wild with all the skills needed to work in a commercial environment!
Chinched has also been involved with a number of charitable endeavors. First and foremost every Thursday our staff donates $5 to either the Learning Disability Association or the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation for T-Shirt Night. We also have ‘piggy banks’ in each of our bathrooms allowing our guests to donate to the charity of their choice, since our inception we’ve been blown away by how generous our guests have been to these causes.
We have also been involved in a variety of charity functions;
- The Seal Dinner in support of the Home from The Sea campaign raising money to build a Sealers Memorial and an educational Interpretation Centre and walking path in Elliston
- The Chef’s Foursome at Atlantica raising money for the Janeway Children’s Foundation
- The Gold Metal Plates Competition raising money for our Canadian Olympic Athletes
- Hot Soup Cool Jazz raising money for the Jimmy Pratt Memorial Soup Kitchen
- Blind Date with a Star in support of the Learning Disability Association of Newfoundland
- And many more…
Over the past two years we’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing locals and local organizations. Much of our success is due in a large part to the local growers and farms that provide us with excellent, fresh and local ingredients. Our thanks go out of the Seed to Spoon organic farm, the Organic Farm, Oliver’s Farms, the Seafood Shop and all the local foragers and berry pickers who’ve provided us with local berries and mushrooms over the past two years!
We’ve also partnered with some fantastic Newfoundland owned organizations over the past two years. We have always been exclusive to Quidi Vidi beers and this has always been well received by tourists and locals alike. We are one of a very small number of restaurants offering their local and seasonal beer on draft. Over the past two years Chinched has held 2 ‘Beer Dinners’ pairing a 5 course meal with different Quidi Vidi beers all with great success.
We’ve also developed a great relationship with Five Brothers Artisan Cheeses, a small local organization that provides us with excellent artisan cheese. This summer, the popularity of our Five Brothers Cheese appetizer has only been second to that of our Charcuterie.
The Newfoundland Chocolate Company is another organization who we’ve worked very closely with over the past two years. Anything chocolate served at Chinched starts with chocolate from the Newfoundland Chocolate Company who offers an amazing selection of delicious and unique chocolates. We’ve also held two ‘Chocolate Dinners’ where we have incorporated chocolate into each course of a five course meal, these have been some of the most successful event’s we’ve hosted.
Dialog Wines with Greg Winter is another organization we’ve had the good fortune of working with. Dialog’s portfolio is well represented at Chinched and with good reason, these wines are excellent. We’ve had the good fortune of also hosting a ‘Canada vs. France Wine Dinner.’ This was a five course meal and each course was paired with a French and a Canadian wine, for the oenophiles in attendance this was a resounding success.
The biggest thank you however has to go out to you, our guests. We’ve been blessed with some of, if not the best dinners in Newfoundland. From your continued support to your invaluable feedback we would not be where we are today without you.
So once again to all of our guests, Thank You!! We couldn’t have done it without you.